Hi, I’m Carol, and I love the French.

I also hate the French.

I married a Frenchman. I love him very much. Though sometimes he can be so… French. He’s also an engineer. Jury is still out on which of these characteristics makes life more difficult. Or more beautiful.

Now we have two kids, so that makes them half French and half American. I’m on a mission to make sure they get the best half of each.

We are a bicultural, bilingual household, journeying through life armed with a French-English dictionary, a healthy dose of humor, and knowledge of where to find the best bread wherever we go.

I’m going to blog so that I don’t have to pay for therapy.



New to A French American Life? Here’s a collection of my best stuff, organized by category:


France and the French

Ten Things I Love About the French

Ten Things I Love About France

La Politesse, and a Few Tips on How to Get Along With the French

Pas Mal

Great Conversations or Arguments?

French Flicks You Might Actually Enjoy

Hey France, Why So Glum?

The French Blow

French Customer Service

My Family

Chez Nous, On Parle Franglais

It’s Kinda Sunny Out, Too

My French Hubby Meets My Cowboy Cousins

A Tale From Christmas Past

My Daughter Started Preschool

Raising Bilingual Children

French Children’s Books

Learning French

Would You Like Pepperoni on That?

Progress in My French Education

Rue, Rit, Roue

Culture and Language

The Culture of Taste

What is Assimilation, Anyway?

American in Paris

Please Forgive Me, I’m an Anglophone


What American Parents Do Well

Colorado Life

Living in Boulder, Where Caring About Fashion is Unfashionable (and Unfathomable)

Photo Days

Nice is Pretty Nice Part 1

Nice is Pretty Nice Part 2

Antibes Part 1

Antibes Part 2

La Camargue

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and Villefranche sur Mer

Arles and Pont du Gard

Christmas in the Alps

Les Villages Perchés en Provence Part 1

Les Villages Perchés en Provence Part 2

Aix en Provence et Abbaye de Sénanque

Ile de Porquerolles


Bastille Day


Bretagne, Je T’aime

Belle Ile

Texans in Tahiti

A Trip To France and Ireland

Awards and Interviews

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Liebster Award

80 thoughts on “About

  1. “The best half of each”…. je l’aime bien! 🙂 My French is so rusty even the flakes falling off it have started rusting, but I do love the language and I do love French films; perhaps exactly because they are so seldom predictable. I can understand where you’re at, Carol, because growing up in South Africa meant that we always had very close ties with things European. Living in a cosmopolitan city like Cape Town meant that I was always close to French books, or German, or Italian if the fancy took me, to mention but three languages; it meant I was withing hailing distance of an Alliance Française or a German club; it meant I could go and eat in a Spanish restaurant and the staff would actually KNOW Spanish! My two years in the Azores were heavenly; it felt as if my soul was at home at last (I’m originally of Huguenot stock, my ancestors having arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in 1688). Now I’m in Sydney and I feel as if I’m at the edge of the known universe where anything not made or produced in Australia is so rare as to be cherished…thank God I’m not in New Zealand, which is probably the only English-speaking place more remote from the centre of the universe hehehe!!

    Anyway, I’m very glad you stopped by at my blog and thus gave me the opportunity to tell you how much I enjoy yours.

    Je suis enchanté, madame, très enchanté 🙂

    • Merci! Wow – you’ve experienced so many places, sounds fantastic! I’m in San Diego, which offers a fair amount of diversity and I love it – in many ways it shapes who I am and how I view the world; it gives me such an appreciation for those who are different from me. Of course, being married to a Frenchman brings on many new experiences and ways of looking at things, too! Thank you for your insights and I’m glad to have “met” you in the blogging world!

  2. Oh boy, I can relate to having a French husband 😉 I love my husband very much, too. But yeah, I get it. We’ve pretty much given up on finding the best bread in St. Louis. Now that he knows I can make it, well you know… So isn’t it fun raising bi-cultural kids?? I know we must have a lot in common.

  3. French and American?? Oh, darling, however do you manage a household like that? What do you call bread dipped in egg and then fried and topped with powdered sugar and/or syrup? What do you call those fried potato things they serve with hamburgers? When someone in your house swears, do you excuse yourself by saying ‘Pardon my French” or “Pardon my freedom”?
    I jest, darling, I jest! Thank you so much for dropping by my little blog. You many get a good laugh out of the story of my trip to Montreal: Couche-Tard and the Jumping Asians http://wp.me/p3hJV8-2H

  4. Hi Carol,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    I completely understand the French love/hate relationship. It seems that everytime, something wins me ove though!
    Love yoyr blog

  5. Let me know how the whole engineer thing pans out. Mine is one as well, and it can be quite interesting trying to find common ground. 🙂

  6. Hilarious! “I love him very much. Though sometimes he can be so… French”… I feel the same way about my boyfriend. And I still say “pardon my French” 😉

  7. What a great little blog! Congrats. I lived in Paris at the Cié universitaire many years ago and I still have the fondest memories. France is an amazing place but the French can get on one’s nerves at times. But that hasn’t prevented me from setting up my own blog on learning French. But I warn people that it is a technical affair that is not as interesting as what you do. But you’re welcome to look at it: http://www.fluentfrenchnow.com

  8. Hello – I just found your blog…I get it …love the French – hate the French..it’s a constant state of mind for me. I too am American married to a wonderful French man…(I think we could start a drinking club of American women married to French men…ha, ha,!!) We are now located in Bordeaux, France – but just moved from NY State after spending 18 years “settled in”. So now we are all adjusting to life in France…(including the French husband who spent 25 year in the States!)…I too blog at http://www.americanmominbordeaux.blogspot.com. We certainly also struggle with raising bilingual/bilcultural kids…it’s a journey and a process. Looking forward to reading more. – Jennifer

  9. Pingback: Liebster Award! | Au lit?

    • Thank you! We were both living in San Diego – he’s been here working for 16 years, I moved here 12 years ago. I was already a Francophile and working on learning the language, and we hit it off right away!

  10. Reading your blog feels like a parallel universe: I, too, have a French husband (thankfully not an engineer!) but we’ve lived in France for the past 20 years. I, too, have a belle-mère who makes occasional appearances in my blog (I pray she doesn’t discover Google translate). There are as many similarities as differences, which makes it a treat to read….also a little scary. But I’ll keep reading, so bonne continuation!

  11. Hi Carol! I just came across your blog and will definitely follow you! I’m in a similar situation, married to a Frenchman (also an engineer, I so know what you mean! 🙂 ) and we live in Finland. Can’t wait to read all your posts (glad I’ve got the day off!), just wanted to share with you a list of French resources I put together on my blog some time ago in case these could be useful to you, too! http://journalofabilingualfamily.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/our-familys-favorite-french-resources/ all the best, Annika

  12. Hello Carol, Contemplating a move to Boulder, but disappointed to be leaving behind the prospect of Ecole Bilingue here in Berkeley, CA. You’re a step ahead of us—have you found a French immersion school that you find worth exploring? Merci, Elizabeth

    • There is one in Denver, but it would be such a commute every day that I haven’t looked into it much. Locally, we are tapping into a bunch of French activities and trying to find the French community here – it’s small but present! There are French story times at several libraries and a few native speakers who offer tutoring, cooking classes, lessons, etc. One of them is working on opening her own French preschool in Boulder. Here’s a link to a listing of a bunch of French activities: http://babybilingual.blogspot.com/p/colorado-french-for-kids.html

      My thoughts, for what it’s worth: Boulder and this area is gorgeous, charming, the lifestyle fantastic, and it has already been well worth the move for us (from Southern California). Let me know if you guys end up here – always happy to connect with other Francophones!


  13. Carol, I just came across your blog and think it’s great! I’ve got a just turned 2 year old son who I speak my non-fluent, American accented French to and it’s been a journey (as you document). I live in Denver but maybe I’ll run into you at one of the French storytimes.

    • Good for you, teaching your son a second language – especially French 🙂 Glad you found me; we’ve tried the Louisville Library and Boulder Library so far. Any other French connections that you recommend in this area?

  14. I wish I had found more French opportunities for little ones in the area, besides what you’ve mentioned. I do get a lot of good use out of the Alliance Francaise library which has a pretty good kids books section.

  15. Interesting blog about intercultural marriage… I am also in that case (French / japanese) in Tokyo, and sometimes … God he can be so Japanese (;) ). So, interesting perspective to learn about other points of view !

  16. Wow, Carol, I use one French word (the only one I know) and you find my blog! Glad you liked my post. Merci, mon ami. (Okay, I know a couple more.) 🙂

    Check out my post, “The Worst Manuscript,” on 10/1/13 and see if I got the caption on the Jules Verne book cover right. 🙂

    • Looks good to me 🙂

      I was already reading your blog, it wasn’t just the French word that got me! Hopefully one of these days I’ll have another novel ready for your discerning eye! Until then, I’ll see you in the blogosphere!

  17. This blog is basically my life. I grew up in a French-American family like your children (in the States too) and like yours, my mom was American and my father French. I read in one of your posts your daughter seems to be resisting it a bit… it is hard! I don’t know how my mom did it when I was a toddler to be honest. I was lucky to spend 9 years of schooling in a French-American school (not an immersion school, this one was recognized by the French Ministry of Education, therefore we were learning exactly what the kids in France were learning, I was even doing math in French!). I am so glad my parents stuck it out with the speaking French–I am 100% bilingual now and it has helped me a lot so far in my career. Cheers from one franglais family to another. 🙂

    • It’s always so great to hear success stories – thank you! That sounds like the same sort of school we had in San Diego – a school recognized by the French Ministry and meeting curriculum guidelines for both the French and the US. I wish we still had that – it made things so much easier!

  18. Coucou Carol! I love your blog and your sometimes ambiguous take on France and the French. I am living the German – French life and even though maybe culturally Germany and France are closer than the US and France I can relate to a lot of your experiences.
    I am running a trilingual blog about life in the South of France (Marseille to be precise). I hope it helps people to practice their language skills!

  19. Hi Carol,
    I wonder if you can help me to find the right spot!
    I will be spending 2 weeks in Antibes August 2015 with my 9 and 6 year olds. 9 year old and me will attend the french courses at Center D’International (I guess same place you had been).
    The issue is the 6 year old. He already goes to a French School and will start CP this September and he is fluent in French. I really do not think he will benefit a beginner course but rather I want him to be with the local kids at a local summer daycare type of place. Ironically , he is our youngest and is the best with French. He is also very easy adapting child I trust in his immersion.
    İt might not be the nest medium for my question but I wonder if you or your followers could guide me.
    My mail address is ahuzz@hotmail.com

    Thanks a lot in advance

    • Hi Ahu- Sorry for my delayed response – I’ve been traveling and not able to access my blog regularly. Yes, that’s the exact school I went to. Great place! As far as summer daycares – I’m unfortunately unaware of any. I’ve done Google searches for just that in Antibes and haven’t yet found something for the younger set. Perhaps you could contact the school and see if they have any suggestions, or any programs that might work for your 6 year old? Enjoy your vacation!

  20. Hi ! I discovered your frenglish blog few minutes ago and I’m still a real fan !!
    We would like to move from France in Boulder/Louisville area. It’s very interesting for us to learn about your way of life. (My husband is also computer engeneer ;-)).
    We already lived in California but LA was definitely too big and the air quality is too bad for us(my son has asthma).
    I can’t wait to read all your blog !!!

      • Thx for your messages ! I will be glad to exchange with you ! Maybe I can have some questions about Boulder’s area. Do you have an email to do that or is it possible to send private messages on your amazing blog ??

  21. Hi Carol,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog A French American Life has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 French Blogs on the web.


    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 French Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.


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